We’ve had a hectic few months so when our holiday to Greece finally rolled around a couple of weeks ago, Sam and I were both ready for it.
What with being very busy at work and trying to move house (whole other story!), we both felt exhausted so a holiday was long overdue. We’d been away over Easter to Devon, and went up to the Lake District in May, but its not the same as a week (or 10 days in our case) in the sun. One of my favourite feelings in the whole world is stepping off the plane and feeling the hot dusty air hit you square in the face. Within minutes your skin has a slight sheen to it – especially if you have to get one of those buses between the plane and the terminal. And I LOVE it. You just know you are on holiday then.
We had a beautiful holiday; though I can’t say much about the island itself as we didn’t leave the hotel! We went to Crete at the end of June and had good intentions to explore part of the island, including the temple of Knoss not far from the airport. Very quickly though, we realised that that was simply not going to happen. We did a couple of walks into the local village, Elounda, but that was it!
I love tanning; I would say it one of my best talents. If I didn’t come back from holiday looking like a native with very obvious tan lines I think I’d question what the point of the holiday was. That sounds awfully shallow, but I do find myself checking how well I’ve tanned each and every day. If I had pale English rose skin I obviously wouldn’t bother, but as I have an olive skin tone I treat it as an annual personal challenge to see how dark I can go. Sam on the other hand doesn’t usually like sitting in the sun for days on end. But even he was happy to fly and flop this time. He even got his chest and back out in the sun and has gone a wonderful golden colour.
Greece is beautiful. I’ve been to Mykonos, Santorini, Kos, Rhodes, Corfu, Athens and Olympia, besides Crete. And it really does look how it does on the internet! Cute cube-shaped white-washed houses with blue shutters, pink and white bougainvillea growing up the sides and stunning views out over the sea. Tavernas with rickety wooden tables and chairs but the most amazing feta, olives and all types of salads and seafood on offer. I think I was Greek in a past life, because I can’t get enough of it.
We didn’t obviously see much of Crete save for the journey to and from the airport and two short hops into Elounda. Crete is the most southerly of the Greek islands and very mountainous. It doesn’t have the picturesque buildings I described above (for the most part – there are some quaint towns on the west side of the island though). It is more rustic, more weathered I guess. It is not as green as the more northern islands, such as Corfu, and has a hardened feel about it; plants that are clearly used to drought conditions and high temperatures.
But Greece is all about the food and Crete is no different. We enjoyed many Cretan specialities (including raki which nearly blew my head off) and every dish was amazing. If you do not like olives, oils, mussels, soft cheese and salads, Greece isn’t the place for you. It has the most eclectic culinary mixes; tea infused oils, mint, basil and oregano salads with beetroot, walnuts, feta and artichoke.
The best pork and lamb, falling off the bone, and more types of fish than I thought I’d see in one sitting. I managed to lose 1 stone in weight in the lead up to our holiday, but I came back 5 pounds heavier!
Our holiday was just that; a holiday. A break away from the reality of our lives in the UK and time for us to just relax and be us. We didn’t just sit in the sun all day, we swam in the sea and the pool (I have an irrational fear of little fish so the pool is much safer!) and spent endless hours sipping wine and tea on our beautiful garden terrace overlooking the sea in our dressing gowns. It was wonderful spending time together doing nothing in particular. Sam and I can spend all day with each other and not get bored, talking about anything and everything . We treated ourselves to a rasul spa treatment; a self-applying mud treatment which rejuvenates your skin. We have come back refreshed, tanned (!) and with more love for each other than ever before.
I would thoroughly recommend visiting the Greek isles – though I’ll have to see more of Crete before I decide either way!